Monday, November 26, 2007
I will play with anyone who will spare me a half hour or two. The only downside is that the game playing brings out a competitive beast that lives deep within me and is sprung to life by the mere mention of the game "Scrabble". Yes, it's true, I'm a dirty player; a taunting, bullying, cut-throat adversary who will kick ass and take names later! This is because *blowing on my fingers* I am damnnnnnnn good! The only person who can beat me at rummy is my friend Kimmy Loo and while I love her dearly it takes every ounce of strength I have not to jump across the table and scratch her eyes out when she wins!
So, last night Howie and I began a game of "Phase 10". If any of you have not tried this game you absolutely must. It's like a combination of Poker and Uno, just wonderful. As you may have guessed there are 10 phases and it can become a very aggressive game, at least it is in our house! I was winning as we rounded phase 2 and the taunting began. "I'm really sorry that you butt is going to hurt so bad tomorrow from the colossal ass whopping that I'm giving you", I say to Howie with an evil grin. "Shut up and deal the cards", he snaps back. I LOVE teasing Howie because he's just as competitive as me, if not worse so when he's losing, it's U.G.L.Y.
Trust me, he can dish it out but he can't take it and that's why I love rubbing it in. "Woot, Woot", as I slam down my cards to let him know I have completed yet another phase and he's left holding what must be hundreds worth of points by the expression on his face. "C'mon, are you serious". "I guess I just have a natural gift", I say trying to keep my face contained to a grin rather than the huge smile that lurks beneath! "Whatever", he quips.
He dealt the hand for the next phase, confident that under his dealing he was sure to get a winning deal. Not so much cause as soon as he took a look at his cards he rolled his eyes and let out a muffled "sheesh". I was cruising through my phase while simultaneously withholding the cards that Howie so desperately needed and I only needed one card left, a 4. Every time I would pick up a card it would be anything but and Howie started to gloat. "Ha, Ha", he says as he laid down a beautiful blue 4 for my taking. "And thank you very much", I retort as I pick up the blue four, add it to my cards and lay them down in one quick motion leaving him wide eyed and still trying to process what just happend. When he came to and realized that he had given me the one thing I needed to beat him he really lost it. I will spare you the train of obscenities that spewed from his mouth. "Do you kiss your mama with that mouth", I say, to which I get the silent treatment.
By the time I reached phase 10 he was still stuck on phase 7 and resigned to the fact that he would not be winning tonite. It wasn't even a glorious victory because he had lost all will to fight. I was sure to mention the final score as he left the table with his shoulders hung low, dragging his feet. He was sitting upstairs watching t.v. still nursing his wounds from the monster slashing when I peeked my head from around the corner and said "best 2 out of 3"? I know he couldn't resist, like I said he's just as competitive as me :-) And the devil knows everyone's weakness *raising one eyebrow*
So tell me, do you guys like games? Are you competetive? Sore losers? What's your favorite game?? Betcha I can beatcha at your own game!!!! Bring it on!!!
I was too embarrassed to ask what they were talking about so I kept trying to pay close attention and gather details so I could decipher this black Friday code myself. Many theories floated through my head.
Was it the day where all the lights went out in Pennsylvania?
Was it the end of the world and nobody warned me?
I didn't want to humiliate myself in front of these nice people who shared their turkey and gravy with a complete stranger so I took my friend aside and asked her the million dollar question...
What the hell is black friday?
It turns out that it's the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year. It's affectionately called "black friday" because it's the day where the stores go from being in "the red" to being in "the black" and since it's always a friday....well, you get the picture.
I'm not a big shopper so I wasn't particularly interested but I was intrigued by the passion that people put into black friday shopping. All of the stores send out huge piles of paper ads and magazines chock full of deals only available at.......get this.....4 in the freakin' morning!! They run special sales with monster discounts to the people who sit in the parking lots of the local malls and superstores at 3 in the morning with their thermos full of dunkin donuts coffee and their fingers permanently stuck to the lock button on their vehicles in case they have to make a quick exit. They are the lucky ones. The other crazies have to stand in line in rain, snow, sleet and wind to be the first ones to enter the doors at 4 am and snatch up one of only 2 flat screen T.Vs to be sold for 2 dollars off normal retail price!
Howie on the other hand lives for this shit. The first thing he did this morning was gather up the troops and head to dunkin donuts to pick up a cup of joe and the morning paper which was packed to the rim with ads. He spent the afternoon sitting in the family room with a huge red permanent marker, circling the best deals. When he picked all that he wanted to get he then arranged the ads in order. First in order of most desirable to least. Then from the nearest store to the furthest and finally from the earliest open to the latest!
All of this time and effort to snag up a box safe sold at Ocean State Job Lot for $30.00. Yes, I agree, it's a deal; but I'm not going to be dragging my butt out of bed at 3 am to bust down the doors for that treasure!!! Other things on his list include a 7 foot christmas tree with twinkle lights, a watch which I could probably get online for a better deal and an inflatable bouncy house for the kids. As if we have enough room for that!
No, not me. I will be snug in my flannel sheets come tomorrow morning, still digesting my turkey and stuffing. He can shop till he drops or unless someone kills him. Last year he went to Wal-mart to snag a double dvd player for the minivan. A woman hit him with her shopping cart and someone was literally trampled to the point where an ambulance had to come out and take them to the E.R!! It's madness!
It's no secret that I hate to shop. Holidy shopping is particularly painful for me. I don't enjoy malls, I don't like browsing, I hate to spend money, I don't enjoy crowds and I really dont like crabby sales people! I do my shopping the way that God intended, ONLINE! I plan on getting some major shopping done soon as there are only 31 days left until christmas and I don't want to be worried about this stuff down the road. I enjoy buying gifts for people and I really enjoy giving gifts and watching the receivers face fill with excitement. I need a personal shopper or something :-)
I do have a list and I have checked it twice. Now I just need to get my butt and gear and start the shopping. Are you guys all set with your shopping? Do you enjoy shopping for xmas? Do you get your shopping done early or wait till the last minute???
It was actually a blessing to find out that he is not trying to serve me up with lima beans and chianti because today Howie is going to a work thing in Poukeepsie and I will be alone. I was getting really nervous but now I feel better. I do hate it when he's away. He's always so warm and seeing as how I am always freezing cold, I love crawling in bed and smothering myself against him to warm up. He's like having a human sized heating blanket :-) Not just that, I can't stand to be away from him for long. Last year he went to the city for a week and after 3 days I packed up the kids and drove in a blizzard for 2 hours in NYC traffic just so I could see him for 15 minutes between meetings. It was worth it! I'm having to get used to being away from him more and more because his job is demanding more travel. It's not uncommon for him to be all over the country..NY, California, Texas, Florida, Illinois. I'm trying to work it out so I can go to Vegas with him in April. How cool would it be to leave the kids with the grannies and have a week of sun and fun, just the two of us. Yes, his meetings do last from 7am to 10pm but heck, there's a spa and a pool there so I'll be fine and dandy! :-) I need to get my passport too cause they often send them to Europe and I would love to see Paris.
I'm having a bit of peace to myself right now, the first in 4 days. Howie's work has been demanding and the kids have been missing him fiercely because they haven't seen him since Saturday. This morning he had some time and took them to Dunkin Donuts for some munchkins. Usually he leaves right as I get home from the gym and doesn't come home till after they are in bed. The other night he didn't get home till 1:30am. His job is crazy! He's been in such a daze that yesterday he came home and when he turned around I noticed he had this huge rip in his pants, like the whole left pocket was barely hanging on my a few threads and I could see his skivies. "What happened to your pants", I inquire. He didn't even know he had ripped his pants and at that moment remembered why he hadn't worn them in a while. "Oh shit, now I know why these pants were tucked in the back of the closet....man, I met my BOSS like this today, why didn't anyone tell me." I was like, "I'm sorry dude...but hey, look at the bright side. At least you don't go commando anymore!"
Ellie got home from PA on monday. I missed that grumpy old lady! She always comes home with a bag of goodies, she's such a mom! She didn't have any problems on her return flights. In fact, an employee from the gate walked her to the luggage area, outside to the curb and then over to the car for me. I was late picking up Birdie at school and was so grateful for this man! Almost makes things okay for them losing her....ALMOST!
Speaking of picking up Biride, I went to the bus stop the other day to get her off the bus but she wasn't there! I freaked out and the bus driver called the school to report a missing child. Turns out she had wandered off the bus route line and they found her and she was sitting in the office waiting for me. She had lied to them and told them that I was picking her up from school that day. When I asked her why she said because frogs from Australia had jumped across the earth to Connecticut and landed in her stomach. "You know they cant jump that far", I say. "Okay, Okay...not from Australia...from Hartford", she retorts. I don't know why she was so nervous. I think it's confusing her that I'm at the school like 3 days a week helping her teacher or volunteering by making copies in the library for the teachers. Poor kid doesn't know whether she's coming or going and who's taking her there!
Well, I must go. I'm going to the movie store to rent E.T. Birdie's never seen it and I promised her if she is a good girl, she can stay up with me after the little ones go to bed and we will eat popcorn and watch E.T. in my bed. She's excited and feels super special. She is special but the real reason is that I don't want to sleep alone since Howie will be gone and it doesn't matter how much of a thrasher she is, she's as hotblooded as her daddy and will make a mighty fine heating pillow :-)
A: Your alternator goes out on your mini-van!
A few weeks ago we had a full warranty on the minivan and it was about to expire so we had it checked from head to toe, or should I say bumper to bumper. The oil was changed, all the fluids were replaced and everything checked out A-OK! Then, about 2 days after the check-up the van started acting funky. The radio would go off and on by itself, the windows would go up and down by themselves and every once in a while the car would sputter. It was possessed! We took it back and they "exorcised" the demon van and fixed whatever needed to be fixed.
The warranty then expired.
The clock had just struck midnight on the expiration date when the car started to fall apart. Things really started to go haywire and I no longer trusted my silver kid mobile. Why you ask? Well, the damn thing left me stranded with all 3 kids after the halloween carnival. This did not inspire much confidence in me so I took the hunk of metal in this morning to be checked yet again but this time *Shriek* without the trusty warranty.
By noon they called me with the verdict. The alternator is shot and it has fried our battery. It all needs to be replaced....all $549.00 of it. Why would he quote me $549??? Why not $550? Does he think I will assume I'm getting a deal if he spares me that extra dollar? Besides, I'm already mighty suspicious of him and his so called "technicians". I believe that they put some kind of timer in my vehicle which was set to go off at the moment of warranty expiration. How else would my car know to hold out on falling apart until AFTER it expired? Fishy no? They could have put a smart chip in the brain of my minivan's computer and be controlling it remotely...from space!! Yes, it's a conspiracy, you see? This is how they rack you for the big money!
What's the deal with cars these days anyway? When I was growing up the cars were made of heavy metal. They were built tough and if you ran into a mack truck you would only get a scratch. They were also made to last; hell, we had a Chevy Impala that we ran into the ground...for about 15 years!!! That thing would have out-lived me if my dad hadn't taken it apart to tinker with the headlights. How the man destroyed a perfectly good car by changing a headlight is beyond me. My dad is "special" that way and he has a gift for killing cars. Nowadays cars will last 5 years if you're lucky and god help you if you happen to get hit with a random piece of bird shit cause it will dent the heck out of your car, no kidding. They must be made of plastic or something cause the slightest touch will contort them into a deformed transormer! Isn't it suspicious that cars always seem to go bad right around the time when the ink on your 60 month check is drying?? Coincidence? NO! Consiracy? YES!
Howie has a major hard on for a new car. His reasoning is that it's just going to get worse when it comes to getting the car fixed. He says they are going to nickel and dime us until we can't stand it anymore and have to end up buying a new car anyway. He thinks we should jump ship now and invest whatever money the lemon will eat up and put a down payment on something that will relieve our vehicle induced stress headaches! I'm not willing to get racked into another 5 year car payment agreement. My hope was to get this thing paid off and be car payment-less for as long as humanly possible. So, for now I will pay the damned $549 and hope and pray that the Steeler bus will hang on until Bear is out of a car seat. And when I get my car back, you bet your ass I will be scanning that thing for micro-chip implants and bugs cause they're watching us...I know they are!!! :-)
Got any car conspiracy theories??
Did you ever buy a lemon?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So I was upstairs putting away yet another load of rapidly multiplying laundry when I hear Howie screaming my name downstairs. "WHAT!", I yell back. "Licha, Licha, Licha..........Bear is acting tired, what should I do?" I stopped and grit my teeth together and rolled my eyes and shook my head and said, "maybe you should give her some vivarin cause babies don't need THAT much sleep", I snap back. "SMART ASS!", says Howie.
I know, I know..I am a smart ass, but seriously, what kind of remark did he expect? If you ask a stupid ass question, expect my smart ass remark. After 5 years of fatherhood he can't figure out what to do with a tired baby?? I am so sick of his stupid questions, I swear...sometimes I wonder if the man has a brain at all. Howie is a very intelligent man, but he must put his brain on "pause: autopilot" when he gets home from work because he asks me a million retarded questions.
I was already in a bad mood today, who knows why...just a bad mood; the kind that just sparks out of nowhere and is virtually uncontrollable. I skipped down the stairs and say, "what the hell, you can't figure out that a tired baby might....I don't know....need to go to BED!" "Well, I didn't know what you wanted me to do", he says....a pitiful excuse at self defense. "I'm so stinkin' tired of your stupid questions. I need you to use what the good lord gave you and make a decision here and there." "I don't want to get in TROUBLE if I don't do exactly what you want" he quips. And I'M the smart ass!!! He basically said that in order to avoid being wrong or getting in any type of trouble for using his brain, he instead chooses to act stupid. "You get mad at all my questions, even if they're not stupid." "That's cause they're all STUPID!"
Instead of saying "did we have plans to go anywhere soon cause Bear needs to be put down" he asks "what do I do?". There's a huge difference. I explain it to him in terms that he can understand. "If you feel like you have poop that's about to slide out of your ass and you need to poop right away even though we're leaving the house at any minute just say: I need to poop, can I have a few minutes? You don't need to say: Um there's stuff that's seeping from my butt hole what should I do now? Help! Help! What do I do?? You're a grown ass man who can think for himself and if you use your head and make a rational decision there is no way that I'm going to get pissed off at you. I get mad when you DON'T use your head, when you fein stupidity and refuse to take responsibility. That's what gets you in trouble, jackass!
What's funny is that Howie deals with these issues at work every day. He has taken on some vital roles at work which means that his work load has tripled and his stress level is through the roof. He knows what it's like to have people picking at him all day, asking dumb questions and making him bear the brunt of the work. He comes home and complains how people don't use their noggins and expect him to lead them around as if they cannot think for themselves. He laments this as he says, "it's 5:00 do you think we should feed the kids." "Nope, they ate this morning, they're good", I say! C'mon. How can he not see the correlation here??
All day long I hear stupid questions and have to tell the kids EXACTLY what to do. I wish I didn't have to:
Me: (To Birdie) Get your shoes and put them on
Me: Your shoes...ON!
Me: Shoes....get them on...
Birdie: What shoes
Me: The shoes on the shoe rack
Birdie: Which ones?
Me: *smoke trickling from my ears* The purple shoes on the top rack of the white shoe rack next to the garage steps. Put one shoe on each foot! NOW!!!!
So excuse me, Howie when my patience has been worn to shreds by the end of the day. I don't have any patience left for you and your stupid questions. "You're so mean *sniffles*, you're always in a bad mood at the end of the day." No shit! You mean....how dare I? How dare I be in a bad mood after taking care of YOUR children who have the asking stupid questions gene!! Sorry if I'm not all peaches and cream when you get home from work because it's 6:00 and Birdie is bouncing off the walls, the boy has pooped for the umpteenth time and Bear is cranky as....well, a BEAR! All of this while I'm trying to make dinner, the dog is under my feet blocking my every step and the cat is swatting at my apron strings.
Do not....I repeat...DO NOT come up in this house asking me "what are you doing?" when you can plainly see that I am trying to cook dinner. Don't ask me or I just might have to add a little spice of strychnine! Stop asking stupid questions or I will poison your pasta!! Enough with the stupid questions already!
Please tell me that I am not the only woman who deals with this! If you are a guy, please explain this to me because all I get from Howie is "I don't know"!
We tried to have a good time but having a good time is next to impossible at an establishment such as the Cheese's. First of all, I only barely tolerate my 3 kids running around screaming and banging things endlessly. After 10 minutes of 50 or more kids doing the same, I want to scratch out my eyeballs, salt them and eat them as an appetizer. This is mainly because we have to wait for the damn mouse brigade to make their own cheese from curdled mouse milk. That must be what happened because it took forever and a day to get our food. Our pizza boy was distracted by a teenage girl wearing tight jeans and a tank top....in 40 degree weather! I stayed away from the pizza and opted for the salad bar. The whole time I was thinking about what kind of disgusting germs were festering on the top layer of cottage cheese. YUCK!
After the meal which I am certain will give me the shits later tonite, we decided to start playing the games. Half of them were broken and the other half weren't giving out tickets so Birdie was pissed. We didn't care because we were busy struggling to keep our eyes on all of our spawn. I swear my eyes are still spazzing from me looking in a million directions for my chi'ln. At least I WAS watching my kids, most parents just dump the kids and let them run rampant. One little boy (for no apparent reason) slapped Howie in the twig and berries. He was already mad that he had been waiting in line for 15 minutes to get a cup they forgot to give us in the first place. By the time he got to the counter, he had turned green and was ready to crush the first teenage worker with a smart ass remark. There were other kids climbing on the machines, wrestling on the floor which is caked with dried food and god only knows what else and still others were walking around stealing people's tokens! The parents were paying NO attention to their kids even though they were tearing up the place! What if one seriously got hurt jumping from the ceiling fan? What if someone just walked out with them? Yes, I know they have that "child protect" thing going on...but I for one do not trust a 16 year old "guard" who is too busy picking at her fake fingernails and flirting it up with a father of 4 who can't be more than 18 himself!! Yeah, I feel super safe!!
I also saw something that made me want to vomit my last taste of 2 day old pickled baby corn. I saw a woman chewing tobacco. Nobody looks sexy chewing tobacco unless you count the rough neck cowboy dressed in chaps and a stetson. What can I say, I'm an Oklahoma girl!. This woman seemed young, relatively attractive and normal but then she opened her mouth to smile and there was tobacco littered between her teeth and a huge dip protruding from her cheek! *dry heaves* Seriously?......Seriously??
We got Bear a cake and sang her "happy birthday". Birdie cleaned up with the game tickets and was able to trade in for a princess crown and a spongebob bouncy ball. After about an hour and a half we were very close to losing our minds so we called it a day. I do not want to go back to that place for a long, long, long time. They need to be handing out some kind of alcoholic beverage as the parents leave this place because we were so frazzled, stressed, sweaty and tired by the time we left we really needed something to take the edge off! *popping an aleve*
What was I thinking? Oh yeah, that my youngest child deserves more than a hostess cake and a high five for her birthday. Bear did have a fabulous time. She enjoyed her meet and greet with Mr. Cheese, scarfed down pizza, fruit punch and cake and thought the skeeball machines were hysterical. She got a push toy for her birthday, she's already an expert at pulling up and walking all over the room with it. All of the excitement tuckered her out and she passed out early. As I was changing her into her pjs I sang "happy birthday" to her and remembered doing the exact same thing for her a year ago today when all 6 pounds of her lay snuggled in my arms after her birth. The same big brown eyes that only squinted last year, were bright with love and recognition and the same little mouth that was chapped and new last year gave me a smile and said "mama" as I told her I loved her and turned out the light.
I've run into so many of these creepy men during my life. When I was a little girl they would literally make the tiny hairs on my arms stand at full attention. I remember when I was 9 we took a bus trip somewhere and there was this old man (probably in his 40s at the time but to me seemed old) who kept staring at me. He smelled like body odor and his hair was greasy and his teeth were brown. I'm shivering right now at the memory of him! It wasn't so much what HE looked like, it was the way he looked at ME! I could just tell that he was a dirty old man inside and out and the thought of him looking at me repulsed the shit out of me.
When I was a teenager I used to babysit for a family who was friends with my parents. They had one little boy and my job was to get him off the bus and sit with him until his dad came home at 6. It was a sweet gig and the little boy was a sweetie so I loved it. The only thing was that the dad was CREEPY! He was actually a very handsome man. When I first saw him I was like, "wow"! That was until I actually MET him. He would stare at me. Every time I would look at him he would be staring at me, not a casual stare....a wide eyed, non blinking, psycho stare. It scared the crap out of me to be home alone with the man for more than 10 seconds!
This morning I was confronted with another CREEPY man! I was doing laps in the pool and as I came up to the edge of the pool I noticed him standing in front of my lane. He was in his late 40's or so, his hair was bushy and unkept and he had a beard. He was standing there in his trunks so I figured he was going for a swim but he just stood there, staring at me, like he was going to say something. I paused for a second and looked at him as if to say "can I help you". I got the stare. That blank, wide eyed, psycho creepy man stare. There were plenty of lanes open so I knew he didn't want to share a lane and I figured he would go away. Didn't happen. He just stood there, staring.
I got all freaked out. What do I do? What do I say? Finally, Nancy the lifeguard, came to my rescue and asked him what he wanted. I didn't hear much else as I continued doing laps and on my return lap he was gone. I was still creeped out. Why was he looking at me like that?? Was he going to be waiting outside for me? Would he follow me home???? I was so paranoid and watched very closely when I left to make sure nobody was watching me and that nobody followed me home. I know I was over the top scared but you should have seen the way this man was looking at me, like he was imagining how my heart and liver would taste, freshly carved from my body!!!
Maybe these guys don't realize how really creepy they are? My guess is that they have ZERO social skills. At least he didn't say anything to me. I have in the past had creepy men ask me creepy questions like, "is anyone here with you". "Um, yes my 6'4", body builder husband who likes to eat creepy men with stupid questions is here with me, thank you very much!" These men also always seem to have cheesy come on lines too, it's the foulest...most disgusting thing to get a come on from a creepy guy. "You smell great, I bet you taste even better" coming from a 55 year old perv who smells like liquor and strip club is a foul that is almost too foul for words. YUCK! LEMME LONE!
Okay, ladies...I know you all have stories of a creepy man. There's just no getting around it!!! Please tell me so I won't feel like the only creep magnet :-) If you're a guy, do you notice these creepy guys too or are you too busy being one???